tv Election Day in America CNN November 6, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PST
governor clinton is now president bill clinton. >> too close to call. >> there it is, george w. bush re-elected. >> barack obama, president elect of the united states. the end of a grueling presidential campaign and an historic day for the nation. voters are deciding right now who will be the next president of the united states. it's election day in america. >> right now it's up to the voters and america is waiting for the verdict. will it be barack obama?
>> we know what we want to do works. we know what they want to do doesn't work. >> or mitt romney? >> he's offering excuses. i've got a plan. >> this presidential contest could be a squeaker until the end. >> we're going to win with your help. >> we'll win this election. >> we're live across the country in the swing states. >> hope and change has become anger, frustration, divide and cones conquer. >> the fight for the presidency, the battle for congress, and the issues dividing the nation. >> i still believe in you. if you still believe in me, i'm asking for your vote. >> i need you to find people to come join our cause. >> it's your vote, your future, your country, your choice.
we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. we're counting down to the first poll closings in just two hours. our correspondents are stationed across the country and in all the key battleground states following the candidates and the voters. some of whom are waitingqn hou right now to cast their ballots. we're standing by for the first exit polls giving us a glimpse on what's on voters' minds and which way this race may go. we also begin right now with mitt romney who is breaking with tradition by campaigning on this election day. he made brief appearances in cleveland just a short while ago, as well as in pittsburgh. our national political correspondent jim acosta is on the scene in pittsburgh. jim, tell us what's going on right now.
>> reporter: wolf, i can tell zum=a nominee mitt romney clim up those stairs and entered his plane, now headed off to boston in a few moments. but it's been a very busy day for mitt romney. he started the day earlier this morning voting near his home in massachusetts with his wife, ann romney. then it was off to cleveland for what was undoubtedly one of the more memorable images of this final day of campaigning. you see on the tarmac in cleveland, ohio, mitt romney's campaign plane, paul ryan's campaign plane, we knew all that was going to happen. but the big surprise of the day, the vice president joe biden landed on air force two and parked his plane almost in between, if you look at the shot that was obtained by photographers earlier in the afternoon. sort of an aircraft bracketing of the vice president's plane by the romney and ryan plane. while they were on the tarmac,
romney went off to the cleveland suburbs where he thanked many of his campaign staff workers and volunteers for their hard work. here's what he had to say. >> there are people across the country doing the same thing you're doing. you know the victory centers here in ohio, all over the country. people are making calls to get folks out to vote because if we do, we'll have the real change we need in this country. i'm:ylr so excited about the sp and the support, the energy. it's just amazing. >> we love you, man. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> reporter: we have an early read out on what mitt romney will be doing. he is heading back to boston to watch the returns with his family in downtown boston. that is where his election watch
party will be held. i talked to a senior adviser how they viewed the turnout. wolf? >> are they pretty confident about winning ohio right now, the romney folks? >> reporter: they are predicting a victory in ohio. but a republican source close to the romney campaign operation in ohio who told me, wolf, this will be d8'ose, "very close in the state of ohio." one reason why they're in pennsylvania is demographically speaking, it's very similar to ìc% rural working class voters.that romneyas targeted throughout the campaign but it does not have the baggage the automobile bailout issue that's troubled romney in ohio. >> jim acosta on the scene for
us. thank you. let's go to chicago right now, where president obama and hi family and top aides are hunkered down, awaiting tonight's results. the president did make a surprise public appearance and squeezed in a little bit of basketball. jessica yellin is on the scene for us there. jessica what are you hearing fromv the obama campaign? >> reporr: senior obama aides tell me that so farther seing no surprises in the data. specifically they say they see no surge for goveor romney. what this means is governor romngp significant edge in the turnout on electi day to overcome president obama's early vote advantage in so many of these battle ground states and what these senior aides are telling me is that they are not seeing governor romney get that turnout edge today. of course, it is still early and far too soon to know. what they're also telling me is they are seeing high turnout
across the nation on both sides. but they particularly point to pennsylvania and virginia telling me they're seeing an increased african-american vote in both those states. that would be very good for president obama if the african-american vote turns out. i'm told they are feeling calm and confident. but as i say again, obviously they're giving me only the good news and it is way too early in the day to know how this will play out. >> tell us what the president did today. >> reporter: the president woke up here in chicago where he spent the night at home. he went to a campaign headquarters, not his open, but a work office, thanks people for all their hard work. and he struck a bipartisan vote reaching out to governor romney and his supporters on election day. listen to this.
>> i also want to say to governor romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign. i know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. we feel confident we've got the votes to win, but it's going to depend ultimately whether those votes turn out. so i want to encourage everybody on all sides, just to make sure you exercise this precious right we have and people fought so hard for us to have. >> reporter: from there, wolf, he went on to play basketball, which is his ritual to play basketball every election day. the one time he skipped a basketball day was the day, that primary against hillary clinton and he lost in new hampshire. so they said never again. it was organized by his former aide,ggie love. i said, are you going to win --
let the president win on this election day? he said i never give up a win. we're going to get the first exit poll results, the first indication of where this night could go. stand by for that. immediately following "the situation room," cnn's special election coverage, all of that coming up. but next, we're less than two hours ay from the first poll closings. so what will the romney campaign be looking for? i'll ask the senior adviser. and florida, virginia, ohio, iowa, we're live in the key battleground states this hour. .
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statistical tie, anything that happen. the memory of the 2000 election has haunted every race since and both campaigns have their lawyers standing by. let's talk about that and a whole lot more with ed gillespie, the senior adviserer to the romney campaign, joining us from boston. thank you very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me on, wolf. >> so if it's really, really close, at what point co-either the romney or obama campaign, at what point do you start contesting, having the lawyers intervene, how close does it have to be? >> wolf, i don't anticipate it being close. when you look at the republican turnout in republican areas, it is up so far and so much stronger than it was in 2008. we'reh$ not seeing the same th on the democratic side. independents in the latest series of polls have been breaking strongly for governor romney. he's looking at a decisive win
tonight. i don't think there's going to be a lot of lawyering is my sense of how this day is going. >> you know, a decisive win is impressive. how many electoral college votes do you think you might wind up with? >> i think 300 certainly is very, very doable. we feel very good about pennsylvania. obviously governor romney feels good about it, he was in pittsburgh today. president obama's war on coal has hurt jobs there, ohio very important and cleveland today, as well. we feel very good about the intensity and our ground game and about the closing message that governor romney has put out there, a positive vision for the country, turn this country around, get our economy moving, create 12 million jobs in sharp contrast to what we heard from president obama. and we sense that's resonating with the voters. >> i know you'll be looking at
some early results. i'll be looking at loudoun county in northern virginia outside of washington, d.c. or hamilton county in cincinnati, ohio. hillsboro county in florida. what are you going to be specifically looking for? >> well, there ar key counties that people lock in on. we're hearing great results in the panhandle of florida where turnout is through the roof. virginia, southwest virginia, virginia, southwest virginia, also coal'ej is through the roof, as well as virginia beach, chesapeake, heavily republican areas, they're bringing in additional poll workers to accommodate the turnout in those areas. so as you know, there are attorney bellwethers that you watch for, and what we're seeing is very positive for governor romney today. >> you heard the obama folks say you decided to contest -- try to
contest pennsylvania because you were losing in ohio and this was in their words an act of desperation. what do you say to that? >> i say that the map has expanded very much in governor romney's favor. we were fully funded in ohio and we were looking at other areas where we could go into because of the success and the support, not only from millions of volunteers who have been working the phones and knocking on doors but donors who have been very generous in their level of commitment to governor romney. when we saw what was going on in pennsylvania, we thought here is a real opening in a pretty big state that favors governor romney. we saw them in philadelphia the other night, in pittsburgh today. so we feel very good about pennsylvania. i think he's going to win pennsylvania tonight. >> you told me you're not bracing for a contested election. but others are, and there are a lot of lawyers out there.
we'll have to wait and see what's going ent has a little ritual on election day of playing basketball. does governor romney have a similar ritual that he does on election days? >> not that i'm aware of. he spends time with his family, very devoted family man and suspect he'll be, now that he's finished with some of these stops, spending some time with ann and the boys and the grandchildren. so i think he's looking forward to a little bit of that before the results come in. >> is it normal -- having never been involved, but do the speechwriters have two speeches prepared, a victory speech, a cop session speech? take us behind the scene. >> well, we feel very good obviously, so the governor i think one of the things he'll do is think about his remarks for tonight. but i'm feeling very confident here as i talk to you, wolf,
that we only need one speech. so we're looking forward to this evening and to the celebration here in boston. >> and you think you have ohio, is that right? >> feel very good about ohio. i believe we are going to win ohio. from what i've seen in terms of the counties where our turnout is high, our turnout is higher in counties that senator mccain carried in 2008, sometimes 30%, 35% higher than in 2008. and we're not seeing that kind of turnout on the democratic side. so feeling very good about it. we shaved the margin on early votes where democrats initially do very well. but shifted about 263,000 early votes, took that advantage away from the democrats. so between the early votes, the republican intensity and independents breaking our way, ohio looks very, very strong for governor romney and we'll carry it tonight and not only do i
think that, the republican governor john kasich believes that, the5 speaker of the hous of ohio believes that as well. >> let's say you win florida and virginia and ohio. by our count you would still need one more state to get over 270. what would that be? >> there's a number of them. a lot of pat> ed gillespie in boston, thank yovery much for coming in. >> thanks for having me on. in the next hour, we'll be
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the race for the white house will come down to just a few battleground states. the biggest prize, florida, with 29 electoral votes. the state turned blue for president obama in 2008 after going for george w. bush in 2004. but the lines have been hours long in certain parts of the day, in certain areas in florida. ashleigh banfield has been with the voters in miami. how long are the lines right now? >> reporter: they're starting to pick up a little bit. take a look down the street past the romney campaign workers, and they're starting to pick up again, because people are getting out of work early and coming down. but it hasn't been any less than two hours from start to finish, to line up, snake your way down the street, all the way back up the street.
come with me. in the meantime, for starters, 40% of the registered 12 million voters here in florida voted early. that's the good news. the bad news is 700 of the ballots in one of the counties was thrown out. they weren't signed, which is unfortunate. how long have you been waiting? >> about an hour. >> reporter: which isn't too bad. we should tell you that a lot of people have been telling me that çñ tried to get an absentee ballot, that they called, and just couldn't get one. so they've shown up today and another thing is some of the lines we've been showing you today caught the attention of the romney campaign. i met one attorney for the romney campaign that was dispatched to take a look. and a poll watcher for the romney campaign, same mission,
make sure everything is working out. come with me so you can see inside. they reported to me they thought everything was fine. but here is a strange little nugget. one said there's a problem with pens. people are walking out with the pens. so they have a pen shortage. we have some good enthusiasm here and i want to tell you something else about the voting. of those early voters, 1.74 million of them are republican and 1.91 million are democrat. this is a heavily represented republican district. so a lot of these in-person voters are expected to be voting republican, which might explain why we had the two romney representatives to watch the voting. >> ashleigh, thank you very much. all eyes tonight on ohio, another key state with 18
electoral votes. in 2008, president obama won the state by just a few percentage points. four years earlier, george w. bush won with a smaller margin of victory. carol is in blue ash, ohio and has some information on provisional ballots. first of all, where is blue ash? >> reporter: blue ash is a suburb of cincinnati, ohio. and hamilton county, ohio in the southwest, but in 2008 this went obama. this year republicans are hoping it swings back to the way it normally goes, for the republicans. voter turnout has been heavy across the county. no problems like you're seeing in florida. and believe me, the poll watchers here, they were watching your show, wolf and saying if the folks in florida would like to come down here and see how it's done, come on down. let's talk about these provisional ballots.
many of the viewers are saying what the heck is a provisional ballot? let's say your address doesn't match the address here at the precinct. let's say you applied for an absentee ballot, but you don't fill it out. you would have to fill out a provisional ballot and they would be set aside until it was determined it was a good vote. in elections past, poll workers pilled out all of this information for the voters. this year, the secretary of state said the individual voters should fill out the information. you know when there's a little tiny change in how you vote anywhere, people get confused. so there's a good chance, some say, that these provisional ballots will not be counted and thrown out and those voter's
vote won't count. the other thing, as you know, wolf, these are not counted until ten days after the election. 200,000 provisional ballots are expected to be cast. if the margin of victory is razor thin here in ohio, president obama only won by 262,000 votes, you can see what a difference provisional ballots will make. there you have it. >> then we would have to wait to start seeing those results on november 17, if it's really close in ohio, which it certainly could be. carol, thank you very much for being there. only about 90 minutes away from the first poll closing. so how will this night go? we have predictions from our all-star panel, coming up next.
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so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. it's election day in america. about 90 minutes from now, we'll get our first look at the actual results. the candidates have made their final push. they're calling on volunteers to keep up the good work after a long campaign, it's all come down to this. >> the battle for every last vote is on. the most expensive election in history. >> down to the wire. >> all of you who lived and breathed the hard work of change, i want to thank you. you took this campaign and made it your own. >> with the right leadership, america is going to come roaring back. >> let's get straight to our chief political analyst gloria
borger. >> wolf, i can't believe it's here. we've heard every election cliche. let's talk about today, since we don't know what's going to happen. let's talk about the vice president's surprise trip to ohio. we heard yesterday that mitt romney was going there, that paul ryan was going there. now low and behold the vice president shows up on the tarmac with air force two. what do you think about that, governor? >> i don't think anybody is changing their vote today. it's been baked in the last 72 hours. >> why put >> because he doesn't play basketball. >> do you think there's a little anxiety maybe they were taking >> we do have some numbers that
are very hard to read on how much turnout you have in different precincts and cities in ohio. and there were some people saying on the internet, so take it with a grain of salt, that s underperforming, the romney campaign was overperforming. so you can imagine somebody where somebody in the obama war room said get biden to ohio. who people is going to vote for is baked in. but it all comes down to turnout. >> i was on a conference call with obama people yesterday where we asked this very question and the answer is, we would rather be getting our people out to the polls rather than diverting them with rallying. >> if you looked at the shot at the airport today, you have the ryan plane, the romney plane, and then in the back, every shot had the biden plane.
>> i feel like that's an onion -- "saturday night live" sketch or something. >> morale is very fragile. and then you see biden's plane pull up between the two, it boosts morale. i think a lot of what's going on here is that there is i think more progressive on. you talk about ohio, the word is that the union vote is up 5% over the last time, because of the big fights over labor rights in ohio. so i think there's a lot of stuff going on out there. i thought seeing the biden plane pull up between the other two -- >> and it's not justny old plane, it is air force two. >> here is my concern with this
election. there is a lot of enthusiasm. but it's negative. unfortunately, neither side is saying we want to win because we have an extraordinary candidate. they say we want to win because we're scared of the other guy.pá >> is that the candidates, is that the negative campaign on the airwaves, is that the mo of the -- >> the nice thing about 2008 was is that it was all potential, whether republican or democrat. it was a restart. but now even if you think obama has been a really good president, there's obviously been compromises and disappointments along the way. so you're having an argument about a record. and there's going to be more negativity. >> do you think that haújiá to with where the economy is, that people respect feeling the recovery? >> one thing that we can all be proud of is people's determination to vote. across the board, that is something we've got to be proud
of. we can be ashamed of how long it's taken people to vote. somebody on twitter said, they had to leave the voting line to go back to work and said these long lines are like a poll tax. you should. have to choose between participating in our democracy and our economy. >> i'm going to ask some of you who want to do it, not about who is going to win or lose tonight, because actually we can wait. maybe it will be another 12 hours. >> or 12 days. >> if the provisional ballots in ohio need to be counted. but what are you predicting in terms of turnout, in terms of enthusiasm, in terms of what we're going to learn from this election? you're the eager student. go right ahead. >> i am -- i think that this
myth of the progressive enthusiasm having fallen off the cliff is going to be disproved. you have young people in colorado coming out, they're saying it might be because of the marijuana legalization issue. >> i'm going to give you that. do you have one? >> i'm just looking for something really unexpected tonight. two possibilities, one is that ohio and virginia flip-flop everybody's expectations, romney wins ohio and it all comes down to virginia somehow, which nobody has expected. >> or florida. >> don't go there. and the other thing i would love to see something important happen in maine's extra congressional district. that has that one electoral vote. just for entertainment value, it all came down to eastern maine. >> that one electoral vote. >> my prediction is there will
be some extraordinary political cleared launched by losers. it's what you say on that election night when you lose, when you say to your5nm)ñ famil and supporters, thank you for being there, and getting back on the phone and thanking everybody who supported you. there will be people who lose tonight that will be presidents in the future. >> very quickly, anna. >> two things. one, romney wins florida. that i feel very confident about. number two, regardless of who wins today, if it's obama, you're going to see republicans lining up immediately for 2016. if it's romney, democrats will line up immediately. we're in an endless campaign cycle. >> back to you, wolf. >> gloria, thank you very much. so whoever wins the presidency tonight will have work to do with congress to try to get things done. but who will be in control of the senate, who will be in
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first, where things stand right now. 47 republican seats in the senate, keep that in mind. remember, they need a net gain of four seats to take control, that's the republicans. at stake tonight, all of these white seats. 33 seats are all up for re-election. people in the polls and all of these states will vote for their senators right now. the reality is, many are not competitive, so we'll stick with these. indiana, this is something that we're going to be watching closely tonight, wolf. republican richard murdoch made headlines because he said in a debate a pregnancy resulting from a rape could be a gift from god. so he plummeted in the polls. this is an open republican set left by richard lugar who murdoch beat in a primary. if murdoch loses this seat, it
will be really hard for republicans to win. polls close early at 7:00. so this is one we'll be watchg, for. then the marquis race, massachusetts. senator scott brown is up against the challenger democrat elizabeth warren, who was the president's consumer advocate. this has been a very, very tight and expensive race going ito today. the polls show brown down. but he's pulled off surprises before. >> let's talk about the house of representatives as well. there's bee a lot of speculation which direction that might be going. >> that's right. this shows the-9bwñ viewers thee at play right now. republicans have a majority, 242-193. democrats going into today need a net gain of 25 seats. guess what? not only -- talking about democratic sources, not only do they not think they're going to get that, think think it's possible that republicans will increase the majority at the end
of the night.oyfñxgu so there are a lot of hurt feelings with democrats about these seats in the house, because they feel that the president hasn't helped them enough. do you know how many robocalls did for house races? one. tammy duckworth outside of chicago. so we'll see. >> nancy pelosi thought they were going to be in the[/7 majority. but you're hearing she could be wrong? >> that's right. >> dana will be with us every step of the way. battle ground virginia. we'll hear from voters there about what's on their mind as they cast their ballots for president of the united states. with my friends, we'll do almost anything.
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check out these pictures over here. live pictures there chicago that is president obama's campaign headquarte headquarters. he'll be speaking at some point later tonight. mitt romney at some point will be speaking in boston and there will be huge crowds in both conventions. a little more than two hours from now, the polls will closef in the battleground state of virginia. 13 electoral votes are up for grabs. president obama carried the state in 2008, but went for president bush in 2004. randi kaye is joining us from woodbridge, virginia. what have you learned about o board and robust, kelyigr tha it was in 2008. they said it's been a huge
turnout so far. in some precincts they had to bring in more voting machines. there were a couple of problems, wolf. one is a couple people came in to vote and told that they already had voted. so they were given provisional ballots, but now those vote also be investigated to see if they can be counted. but the biggest problem was in kcovingto covington, where president obama was actually listed as the republican on the electoral ballot, along with mitt romney. so that would be a real problem. so it's unclear how many people voted with the ballot that way. then officials changed the ballot to the paper ballot and listed the president as a democrat. >> hard to believe, this is the united states of america and there are problems like that. that's just one of many problems around the country.
it's shocking when you think about it. let's check in, in iowagb4 rig now, six electoral votes at stake. iowa voted for george w. bush in 2004. poppy harlow is joining us right now. what are you getting about early voters, what are you seeing and hearing? >> reporter: what we can tell iowa set a record in terms of early vote. about 40% of all the people who will have voted voted early. they're giving democrats a lead by about 66,000 votes. 282,000 nearly democratic early votes. republicans coming in at about 215,000 and no party affiliated votes at 174,000. independent votes very critical for both campaigns. traditionally, democrats in iowa are better at getting out the early vote. and republicans, this year, that
lead is much more narrow than in the past. the romney camp telling me in terms of iowa, they're feeling great and the obama camp saying turnout is solid why it needs to be. still a long way to go. we're watching for voting problems on this election day. up next, details of one machine that turned a vote for president obama into a vote for mitt romney. [ male announcer ] with 160 more miles per tank,
c new jersey still struggling to recover from the superstorm disaster. >> we've been hearing from new jersey voters, those displaced or first responders that they're having problems with this online voting system that new jersey instituted after the storm. so what new jersey is doing is they're saying that anybody who qualifies for being displaced can vote until friday. here's the rub. you have about a minute to apply. so you would have had to have applied by 5:00 p.m. eastern today. it takes about an hour to get approved. you have to state that you were displaced9ó,m and you have unti friday to cast that ballot. we have seen some action this afternoon from voter groups to say they are prepared to file suit or take action against the government of new jersey if they don't make it easier for people
to vote. >> there's one voting machine in pennsylvania that's gaining national, if not worldwide attention. explain to the viewers what is going on. >> in the last hour, we have confirmed a second machine in pennsylvania where the voters have taken video of them trying to vote for barack obama, you see very clearly in one case, a finger there, pressing barack obama and look what happens. mitt romney comes up, over and over and over again. we have spoken to one of the voters who experienced this. we do know that the machine that you're looking at here was taken out of commission, recalibrated and put back into commission. as of now, we have two reports of voters who complained their vote for barack obama in a pennsylvania voting machine was changed to a vote for mitt romney. in both cases, the matter was remedied. we are finding out what's
happening to the second machine. one was in harrisburg, the other in union county. so we ask our viewers to tweet us and we'll follow up on all these complaints. >> hard to believe these things are going on in the united states of america. the presidential races that been won by ronald reagan of california. >> governor clinton is now president bill clinton. >> too close to call. >> george w. bush re-elected. >> barack obama, president elect of the united states. indication of where this election is going. we're about to release the first results from today's exit polls. it's election day in america. >> right now, the final frantic reach for president as americans
head to the polls and have their say. >> four more years! four more years! >> mitt romney and barack obama, ending a long and close campaign. >> do you want more of the same or do you want change? >> fighting for every vote until the bitter end. >> we know what change looks like. and what he's offering ain't it. >> we're live with the candidates and in the battleground states that hold the keys to the white house. >> together, we can get this done. >> there's only one direction, forward zlam >> this is cnn's coverage of election day in america, the fight for the presidency, the battle for congress and the issues dividing the nation. >> i still believe in you. and if you still believe in me, i'm asking for your vote. >> i need you to find people that will join our cause. >> it's your vote, your future, your country, your choice.
we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." in addition to releasing the first exit poll results, we're going to be joined this hour by some of the two dozen reporters cnn has placed in the key battleground states, the most of any network. plus, every toss up state is covered. some are embedded with state election officials. other correspondents are following president obama and governor mitt romney. they both had very busy days urging their teams to make sure every possible voter gets to thu polls. president obama spent much of his day doing radio and
television interviews from chicago, but he's had a little bit of time to play basketball. breanna keeler is over at obama headquarters in chicago. how is the president spending this day? >> reporter: he spent the day having a little fun and doing a little work. we're at mccormick day, where the election day rally will take place and where president obama will be ending his evening and we'll be on the floor later once doors open at 8:00 p.m. eastern. president obama started his day in chicago, after a very late night, coming in from iowa. he stopped by a campaign office in the south side of chicago, made some phone calls to some voters in wisconsin, including one that he joked didn't know who he was. and there was time for what's become an election day ritual, a
pickup basketball game. he was on a team with former chicago bulls scottie pippen and his secretary of education arne duncan and reggie love. still doing a lot of work and interviews for tv stations, including one in milwaukee urging voters to get to the polls. >> it's going to be close. we feel confident that we have the votes to win. but as is true in every election, it depends on who turns out. so i just hope that everybody who is watching, whether they're republican or democrat or independent, take the time to vote. >> reporter: now, president obama and the first lady will watch returns come in tonight from their home. then they'll be heading to the hotel where a number of senior staff are staying as the night moves on. this is where, wolf, they will
be finishing up the night. still, the doors have not opened. you can see setup going on behind me, but this is where we're going to be tonight, going out on to the floor among the supporters to see if they end their night as expected. very jubilantly or if there's disappointment. >> they're going to be really happy or really sad. mitt romney spent the day traveling in ohio and pennsylvania. he'll be back in boston to watch the results come in. candy crowley is over at romney headquarters in boston. what's going on over there, candy? >> reporter: well, the latest action we've seen here is they are steam cleaning these flags behind me. the candidate and his wife will be watching their returns with families in a hotel close to here and will come over here for what they very much hope and
believe will be a victory night. i spoke to someone earlier in the campaigns, about ten minutes ago and said hey, what about a pulse check. their pulse check is still very strong and say they think the high turnout is good for them, because they say it's showing up in republican places. i was hold by one romney adviser that in fact, in republican places in florida, in some of them they've run out of ballots. nonetheless, they are voicing a great deal of confidence here. >> in the last hour, we spoke with ed gillespie, one of the campaign senior advisers for romney. he predicted at least 300 lec r electoral college votes for mitt romney. that's pretty confident. is that what you're hearing, as well? >> reporter: i hear confidence.
i don't hear those numbers. obviously, i heard ed talk about that and he's saying that publicly. there has been pollsters within the camp that have bandied about that particular number. obviously, they'll be happy with 270. anything after that is gravy. but as they add it up in their most optimistic form, they see that 300. whether they get that, we'll take a look at the exit polls here on the east coast. >>e(zj we'll be getting some re numbers at 6:00 p.m. eastern, the polls in all the states start closing at 7:00 p.m. eastern and we'll get those results coming in. candy, as we await for some of these first exit poll results to come in, is it your sense that what ed gillespie told me that romney basically has prepared a victory speech, they're not really working on a concession
speech, is that the talk you're getting as well behind the scenes? >> yes. but if they were working on a concession speech, i don't think they would tell us. but we know from past campaigns that sometimes these concession speeches have been written in that very last moment. but they have speech writers, and these are campaigns that have been running hard for some time. they're not going to -- on either side -- going to accept we need a concession speech here until they see the writing on the wall. and we talked ant this before, we have two campaigns looking at the same numbers and same map and coming up with different scenarios. somebody is going to be really disappointed tonight. >> thank you very much. cnn's coverage of election night in america begins at 6:00 p.m. eastern as the first polls close.
we'll start getting real results coming in. we'll be here as long as it takes to determine a winner. stay with us for our first exit poll results. john king is working that right now. we'll get reaction from the obama campaign to those first exit poll results. i will be speaking with david plouffe who will join me live. we'll have james carville and mary matalin, they're here together. lots of news happening today, election day in america.
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email marketing from constant contact reaches people in a place they're checking every day -- their inbox. and it gives you the tools to create custom emails that drive business. it's just one of the ways constant contact can help you grow your small business. sign up for your free trial today at constantcontact.com/try. let's get straight to our strategy session. joining us now, the james carville and his wife, the republican strategist, mary matalin. we may interrupt this conversation be john king gets the exit poll results. so stand by for that.
james, you're pretty upbeat as a democrat, aren't you? >> i am. if governor romney wins this, it will be bigger than truman in '48. >> is there something special, are you going to grow a beard, a mustache? >> no, but -- >> buy your wife some jewelry? would be right. each wolf blitzer would have -- >> it would be huge. what would you say if governor romney wins? >> i think my dear friend, ed gillespie, who is in the belly of the beast in boston, is pessimistic. 315 to 320. >> he said 300. >> think about this. let's just think about this. per our polls, more republicans are voting for romney than democrats are voting for obama and independents have split
double-double digits to romney. >> why are you so confident? >> first of all, we've done our own polling and we trust our data, we show president obama with a four-point lead. >> four-point lead nationally. but what about battleground states? >> we don't have that kind of money, but if you're leading nationally, you're going to lead ú if governor romney wins this and my wife is correct, this will be the biggest political story that you can imagine. >> just consider my es teamed colleague, all the liberals are saying obama is going to win and conservatives are saying romney will win and the public polls are split. but the momentum has been on the
president obama has lost determinative voters, catholics, and others. >> what is the first real indicator, once the polls close in a state, is there some county, some city, something you're going to be looking at? >> if the republicans are right, let's assume they are and governor romney were to carry pennsylvania, game would be over. >> that's a huge sign. >> even if he loses ohio? >> he's not going to carry pennsylvania and lose ohio. >> why not? >> things don't work that. anybody in politics would tell you he can't. if on the other hand if,7 president obama carries either virginia or florida, game over. the importance of ohio would recede. that's the first thing to look for. let's see what happens in
pennsylvania, virginia, w"flo. i don't think pennsylvania is in play. they do. >> do you agree with that analysis? >> mostly, except i think there's a path that's going to be an unusual map and the evidence of the uniqueness is nobody can agree on it. i don't think we're going to lose virginia, but if we did, we could make it up. but you've got to win florida. you can make up virginia with colorado, iowa, new hampshire. but you would have to get ohio. >> if the president wins virginia, i'm just going to call it. because if he wins virginia -- >> if he wins virginia four years ago against john mccain, you have to agree there's a lot less enthusiasm out there right now.
>> we can supposedly, if we're good enough pollsters, we can account for that. the enthusiasm gap, is about the same. it was a lot more for senator obama than senator mccain, that's true. but good pollsters should be able to account for that. this is not something new. but pennsylvania goes for romney, romney wins the election. virginia, florida goes for president obama, he wins the election. if they both go for president obama and romney, then we have to go to ohio. >> some of these counties in northern virginia, the suburbs of washington, fairfax, loudoun county, there are huge numbers of people waiting to vote, and this is the more democratic part of the state. >> that's right. but let me repeat a question that rush limbaugh has been asking all day. we know that every person, every
republican that voted for mccain is going to vote for romney and then some. there are lots of democrats switching to romney, in your own poll, romney is getting way more democrats. so turnout in democratic areas does not mean turnout exclusively for obama. >> it doesn't matter, because we're going to know. but what is interesting, prince william county, where manassas is, that's where president clinton and president obama went to campaign. those are going to be key. if you were asking me what i would look at first, governor romney is going to do well on thet' south side. the president will do well in alexandria. but what i would like to see, you know, is what's happening in prince william and what's hamming in loudoun county.
those will be the early indicators. >> so it's nice jewelry if romney wins? >> i have a beautiful wife. i'll buy her jewelry. >> thanks to both of you for coming in. exit polls are coming in. john king has some brand new numbers coming up next. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." the pace of change is accelerating. the way we... perform, compete and grow. and people are driving this change. that's the power of human resources. the society... for human resource management and its members know... how to harness that power, because we help develop it. from the next economy, to the next generation, we help get... the most out of business, by getting the best out of people.
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cnn is live at land marks across the country where crowds are gathering to watch the election coverage. in chicago, we're at thompson center plaza with the largest scene in the city for free public viewing. here on the east coast, cnn's election watch party, in the heart of new york city's times square. lots of people will be watching. on the vegas strip, people can stop and watch the results on the big screen at the miracle mile shop. and in boston, check this $:sco you can watch cnn's election coverage at the market place. it's being lit up for election night withe than 350,000 l.e.d.s. a special preview of the holiday light and sound show called blink. a new boston tradition. keep tabs on the changing electoral vote count right here on cnn. take a look at the empire state
building in new york. now take a close look at the top. it will be following cnn's official electoral count. so as we make projections, those red and blue columns will rise throughout the night. blue for obama, red for romney. once we have a winner, the lights will change colors. if president obama wins, the top will light up in bright blue. if governor romney wins, it will light up in bright red. the rest of the nation can see it right )0c on cnn. we're getting immediate reaction and we'll get the first, latest it poll numbers. john king is standing by and we'll get reaction to the exit poll results from one of the president's top political advisers, david plouffe, joining us live from chicago.
massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. if you're caring for a child with special needs, our innovative special care program offers strategies that can help. we'rwith questions fromtump sombing elections.kies do you know where your polling place is? maybe somewhere around my house. mine's just, right over that way. well you can find out exactly where it is using bing elections. it's a good day for politics. which way do you lean politically? conservative. republican. well, using the bing news selector you can find news from whichever way you lean. (together) social on this side, financial. which party is currently predicted to win a majority in the senate? the republicans? would you make a bet on that? no. are you chicken?
just a few hours to go until polling stations along the east coast begin closing. some of them beginning closing at 7:00 p.m. eastern. let's get a quick snap shop with four of the most important swing states with brian todd in new hampshire. what does it look like there? >> reporter: this is precinct three in new hampshire. take a look at the crowd. they're starting to build as people start to come in here.
one official told me they're concerned about people waiting in the cold. temperatures are dropping significantly out there. they had three or four people leave without voting out of frustration, so the capacity to handle the record turnout is an issue right now. another issue here is the new voter i.d. law. people have to show photo i.d., military i.d., driver's license, things like that to get to the polling station here. some complaints about that, but it's moved smoothly. if you don't have that i.d., you have to fill out a challenged voter affidavit, essentially swearing that you are who you say you are and they will investigate to make sure that's the case. but they are starting to get concerned here and one other place where the lines were so backed up that traffic was a concern. that's it from here for now. let's go on to northern virginia.
>> i'm kate bolduan in prince william county, virginia. i'm right now at the board of elections here, a sample ballot here in prince william county, where all of the action will be in just over an hour when the polls close and precincts call their results here at the headquarters. barack obama won northern virginia in 2008 by 234,000 votes. key to his success, northern virginia. a big boost to that in 2008 was absentee voting. officials say right now absentee votes, there are 68,000 fewer absentee ballots in, but officials say they expect overall turnout to top that of 2008, which was more than 74%. all eyes here in prince william county, virginia.
for now, i'll toss it down to florida. >> drew griffin here in jacksonville. they are counting the last of the absentee ballots, and i've got to tell you that right at the top of the hour, they're going to be ready to tabulate a lot of these votes. take a look at this machine that's been working for days. they have 45% of the vote actually in and tabulated. nobody supposedly knows what the count is, but they'll press a button close to the top of the hour and spit out exactly how those votes are broken down. so we'll get results here early. the rest of florida looks like this. tampa day-to-day tone -- tampao daytona beach. just like the rest of the country, florida is a battle for
the middle of the state, that middle i-4 corridor. marty savage, it was a rainy start to a florida day, but turned out bright and sunny. although there are long linysy temperatures are comfortable. marty, you're in cleveland, ohio. i imagine it might be a little different. >> cool temperatures but sunshine for the first time in many days. that's what greeted voters. this is the tabulation center for cuyahoga county. it's going to be the center of everything that goes on when counting the votes here in this critical county. it's the largest when it comes to the state of ohio vote wise. early voting numbers have been released and they show that the numbers of people who turned out to vote early surpassed 2008. it was 1.8 million total votes cast here in cuyahoga. the county number came up to 294,798. the vast majority are the same
ones being scanned right now. absentee ballots that could become critical later and the issue of the unique situation with ohio's provisional ballots. there have been some problems out of the polls. some machines not working and voters upset saying they think their vote was not counted. authorities here will say that's not the case. every vote will be counted. polls close at 7:30. wolf? >> martin savidge, and the entire team, thank you very much. stay right here with us for complete special coverage of this historic election. we'll continue at the top of the hour. but right now awaiting for the first exit poll results and we'll bring them to you as soon as we get them. stay with us. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop?
there are predictions who will come out on top, but what happens, and it's possible, what happens if neither candidate prevails and we end up with a tie? here's cnn's tom foreman. >> reporter: wolf, each if most states vote exactly as anticipated today, each line here represents a way which the battle grounds could come together to produce an electoral tie, 269 votes for each candidate. and if that happens, what comes next? rule number one, the incoming house of representatives would then pick the president.
that's right, all of the votes, all of the ads, all the billions go right out the window and the people who will convene in this chamber in january would decide upon the president. rule number two, one vote per delegation or one vote per state. under this rule, states like california that have tens of millions of voters would suddenly have the exact same amount of influence as states like north dakota that have a whole loss less. one vote per state. that's it. no exceptions. and it gets better. look at rule three, the popular vote does not count. your state's vote could be determined by what your congressional delegation wanted to do. look at illinois over here. barack obama's home state. it's voted reliably democratic. but around chicago and st.
louis, everything is held by the republicans. they have more congressional seats and they should turn the vote in that state red for romney. this could really remake the map. states like minnesota that right now have an equal number of democrats and republicans, they essentially would have their vote nullified unless the parties could cast the vote one side or the other. bottom line, it remakes the electoral map. we know right now this is a very close race. but if you applied this formula to the current u.s. congress, look at what happens to the map. the republicans have a massive advantage in the number of states and mitt romney would absolutely sweep into the white house. but, but not necessarily paul ryan. because just as the u.s. house would be tasked with picking the new president, the u.s. senate would pick the vice president=6
and the democrats have an advantage there. so the incoming senate could give us a ticket nobody counted on. mitt romney as president and joe biden has vice president. and they can't put barack obama in there, they have to go with the candidate they have. if there's a tie in the senate, joe biden could cast the deciding vote for himself. none of this is guaranteed. there's so many things that could happen. there could be legal challenges, recounts or a faithless elector. you're not voting for president today, you're voting for members of the electoral college who will then say this is how this state wants its votes counted. that could happen and if it did, one person changing his or her mind could change history and
give the election to barack obama or mitt romney. wolf? >> that would be amazing indeed. 269-269. let's see if that happens. i suspect it won't, but it's something worth pondering right now. stand by, we're getting exit poll results coming in. our coverage of this election night in america will resume obviously at the top of the hour. lots more going on right here in "the situation room." [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
let's go to chicago right now. joining us the white house senior adviser david plouffe, one of the president's close es advisers. david, thank you very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> what do you make of the decision for mitt romney to show up in pennsylvania today and joe biden, i guess his surprise decision to show up in ohio today. give us some perspective. >> well, i think the vice president was on his way to chicago. ohio is a critical state and he wanted to go there and thank our volunteers who were working so hard to get out the vote. the president, as you know, called some voters today and is doing interviews. we're convinced the president has enough support to win this election. polls are still open in all the battleground states and we want to encourage everybody out there
to get out and vote. there's still plenty of time to exercise your right to vote. >> i hope all americans who are eligible do in fact go out to vote. do you think pennsylvania is legitimately in play? ed gillespie in the last hour not only thought it was in play but that romney was going to win pennsylvania. >> well, you'll have to ask ed in a few hours to square that statement with reality. pennsylvania is a state that mitt romney would have to win 2/3 of the independent vote to win. he's not going to do that in any state much less pennsylvania. we've got a great organization. we like what we're hearing about today in terms of turnout in pennsylvania. and we feel confident that at the end of the night pennsylvania will be obama blue on your map on your set. >> all right. he also predicted, ed gillespie, at least 300 electoral college votes for mitt romney. do you want to offer any predictions? >> no, i'm not going to offer a
prediction, but i'm very confident that at the end of tonight or early tomorrow morning, barack obama will have enough electoral votes to be elected president. i think we're going to do very well. we have nine battleground states. we think we have a chance to win all of them. the remarkable thing about today, you see our democracy at work. thousands on the streets are trying to encourage people to vote and we like what we're seeing in terms of these battleground states. >> the president did a bunch of satellite interviews with local television stations in some of these key battleground states, including our affiliate here. listen to this little exchange. >> would you do something?shhñ differently if you looked back on this race in how you've handled it so far? >> well, i think overall we've run a race that i can be proud of.
obviously i should have probably had a few more cups of coffee before the first debate. but other than that, i feel very good about the work we've done. think if romney wins, will it come down to that performance in that first debate? >> first of all, i don't think governor romney is going to win this race. wolf, what we're going to see tonight is the race that we always knew we were going to have, which is a very close race in a number of states. the first debate accelerated some of romney's gains. he was going to get 47, 48, 49 in battleground states. we live in a closely divided country. so the notion we were going to win by six, eight, ten points in battleground states was fantasy. so this is a race that we have always anticipated and we put our faith in the american people
and our volunteers. >> last night in des moines, we saw something unusual. the president got emotional and you could see some tears coming down his eyes as he recalled his journey that started a while ago as you well know and you were with him every step of the way back in iowa when he won those iowa caucuses. how unusual is this? you've known him for a long time. he's usually very cool. but you could see the tears coming down as he reflected. >> well, i think, wolf, it was barack obama's last campaign event as a candidate. so that in and of itself would cause you to reflect. but the fact that it was in des moines, and you've got to remember, when we launched our race for the presidency, you know, a lot of people didn't even know who he was, couldn't pronounce his name. i think as the president looked out last night, he saw so many
peop and i think the president saw so many people who believed him and their ability to change the country. i think for all of us last night, it was very emotional to see those people. you know, as you know in 2007, we spent a lot of time in iowa. it was a second home for us. and the president went to every corner of that state. and i think his message last night, and they could play a very important role tonight. if we win the state of iowa and we think we will, that's going to be a real important piece of the puzzle for us, winning 270 electoral votes. >> dave plouffe joining us from chicago. thanks very much on this historic day. we'll stay, obviously, in close touch with you as well. >> thanks, wolf. >> all right. we're now ready to release the first results from today's exit polls of voters around the country. our chief national correspondent john king has been reviewing all the datas. what are you seeing there, john? >> wolf, we'll give you a glimpse of what's on the minds of voters nationally, then key in on virginia. 60% of voters nationwide today say the most important issue facing the country is the
economy. now, a bit later when the polls start closing, we'll show you how these voters broke down. but six in ten americans the today as they went to the polls said that's issue number one. 15% said the deficit. 17% said health care. so personal economic issues dominating the electorate. only 4% saying foreign policy is the most important issue facing the country. what's the most important candidate quality when you pick a president? you see an interesting split here. 29% say a vision for the future. 28% say shares my values. the president has won on that in preelection polls. we'll see how he did on election day. strong leader, an area where governor romney hopes to do well. 20% say strong leader is the most important quality. more of an empathy there on that question. that's nationally, the national electorate. who is more in touch with people like you? the president wins on that one, 52% of americans say president obama is more in touch with people like them, 44% for governor romney. you can see how that plays out in the characteristics as people choose a candidate.
then we ask this question, who would better handle the economy? six in ten americans say that's the top issue, and governor romney wins on that issue, 51% nationally say governor romney would better handle the economy, a narrow edge, 47%, saying the president would better handle the economy. now let's shift into one of the early key battleground states. here's a piece of key demographic information that could prove to be important. 21% of voters in virginia today describe themselves as white, evangelical christians. that number, when president obama carried the state four years ago, was higher. it was about 28% of the virginia electorate four years ago, for evangelicals. that could be. we're not looking at the results yet. we'll see how that plays out down the road. that could be an issue for governor romney. he needs not only high support among evangelicals, but he's hoping for high evangelical turnout. that number down from 2008. we'll see how that plays out. and yet, here's some encouraging news, if you will, for governor romney. should the 2010 health care law be repealed? nearly half of virginia voters say yes. that has been a key plank in governor romney's agenda, wolf, as you know, to repeal obama care, as he calls it. 49% of virginians say yes, 46%
say no. a pretty healthy divide on this question, and what we assume will be a pretty evenly divided battleground state of virginia, at least if you look at the preelection polls. one more question here, just on this one state. we showed you the national numbers, and in virginia, pretty much tracks the national numbers. more than half of the voters today, 53%, say the republican nominee, mitt romney, would better handle the economy. their top issue, of course. and wolf, 45% say the president would better handle the economy. so when you go through these numbers on candidate qualities and on the issues, a pretty even divide. it suggests, as we saw it coming in, we've got a close, competitive election. >> very close in virginia, and several other key battleground states. john's going to be going through these numbers for us throughout the night. thank you. the first polls getting ready to close. election night in america coverage, straight ahead.
as we just mentioned, president obama is getting a little teary-eyed with his final campaign drawing to a close. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: you know you're in for a sentimental night when it starts with those famous obama hugs, where it seems like they're all alone, even though tens of thousands of us are watching. but enough kissing. time for reminiscing. iowa is where barack obama's drive for the presidency got its start. >> and you welcomed me and michelle into your homes. >> reporter: and then, it happened. >> and mr. obama got teary-eyed -- >> wiped a tear from his face. >> an emotional night, even for a president, known for keeping his cool. >> reporter: maybe it was the cold making him cry.
nah. >> i want to say one thing to all the young people. >> reporter: not once, but three times. >> to all of you who have lived and breathed the hard work of change, i want to thank you. >> reporter: the president used his finger -- >> who believe we've all got something to contribute! >> reporter: -- to dab away a tear. no surprise, the president's tears had some of his critics crying, crying foul. who cries from just one eye, asked someone calling herself jonie baloney. he must have just seen his internal poll numbers. he needs an academy award to set next to his nobel prize. and playing off that familiar chant -- >> four more years! four more years! >> reporter: -- the drudge report mocked, "four more tears." the president' ee supporter fird back. "rney would have wept, but his handlers forgot to refill his wiper fluid." the president has cried before
at a funeral for civil right activists as michelle eyed his watering eyes. and four years ago, exactly one day before the election -- >> it's hard a little to talk about. >> reporter: then senator obama who lost the grandmother who had help raised him, and this time thumbed away the tracks of his tears. four years apart, both times a day before the election -- >> i want to say one thing to all the young people. >> reporter: -- but barack obama is no john boehner. >> i've spent my whole life chasing the american dream. >> reporter: with president obama, it almost takes a still photo to capture the tears, and then nostalgia gave way to kissing those tears good-bye.